Estate Administration in 500 Words or More – Part 2

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Below is a continuation of last month’s “Estate Administration in 500 Words or Less” entry – a title not meant to be serious.  As you can see, a short list is not enough.

BENEFICIARIES – make a plan to provide beneficiaries with regular status updates and progress reports

SERVICE ONTARIO – apply for a death-certificate, refunds of driver’s licence fee and vehicle licence sticker – cancel health card – cancel accessible parking permit

SERVICE CANADA – advise of date of death – cancel Social Insurance Number and destroy SIN card – return passport with letter indicating whether cancelled passport should be returned – return any CPP/OAS benefits received after death – apply for CPP death benefit, CPP survivor pension, CPP children’s benefit, CPP allowance for the survivor, Guaranteed Income Supplement (where applicable)

VETERAN’S AFFAIRS CANADA – contact if the deceased was a member of the Canadian Forces

INTERNATIONAL – cancel foreign passports, foreign social security numbers

LOCATE AND KEEP SAFE – birth, adoption, marriage and/or divorce certificate(s) – prior income tax returns – investment information – real estate deed(s) and mortgage documents – any other form of identification found

LOCATE AND CANCEL – all credit cards and request final billing summary – check for insurance to cover the balance – transfer Air Miles, frequent flyer and other loyalty reward points to the estate – cancel cable, telephone, internet – ensure utilities are maintained per home insurer’s instructions – notify clubs and professional memberships and request refunds due – cancel magazine/newspaper subscriptions and request refunds due

BANKING/FINANCIAL – request transfer to any surviving joint tenant – notify financial institutions and request up-to-date summaries of all accounts – cancel bank cards, chequebooks and passbooks – notify credit companies of death – search for unclaimed bank accounts – check if RRSPs or RRIFs are payable to the estate or named beneficiary – transfer/redeem Canada Savings Bonds – contact issuer of GICs/securities for instructions regarding transfer/re-registration – review investment portfolio and make appropriate decisions regarding investments

LIFE AND OTHER INSURANCE – locate all insurance policies, confirm policy amounts and request benefits be paid – check if any annuities are payable to the estate or named beneficiary

EMPLOYER – notify current/former employer and arrange for payment of wages, pension or insurance proceeds and any other benefits due

DIGITAL ASSETS/SOCIAL MEDIA – check User Agreement and Terms of Service to determine whether assets can be transferred, deleted or have restrictions regarding termination – locate information regarding digital accounts, user names and passwords

HOME COMPUTER/TABLET/CELLPHONE – review instructions regarding deleting files, emails/other confidential information, personal or family digital photos, domain registrations, web sites and blogs, email accounts

ESTATE INVENTORY – create detailed listing of all estate assets and liabilities with values for both real property and personal property as at the date of death – determine original purchase price for any capital property – identify joint assets with right of survivorship, items with named beneficiaries and assets held outside Ontario – determine whether any assets are missing – collect debts owed to the deceased – ensure that all debts are up-to-date and valid before paying and obtain receipts for all debts paid

MISCELLANEOUS – redirect mail to your address – notify appropriate party if deceased leased residence and arrange to sublet or terminate the lease and remove all belongings – consult your lawyer if deceased was: executor of another estate at the time of death, beneficiary of another estate at the time of death

Again, I’m out of room and we still have to deal with probate, tax returns, clearance certificates and other matters.  It’s not as simple as 500 or even 1,000 words.  See you next month for the next part of the list.

About Penny Schneider

Penny Schneider, TEP is a Trained Professional Organizer who works specifically with executors on estates. On the 1st of each month Penny writes short pieces about things important to executors (what to do when) and on the 15th with things an executor might find (what to do with). Penny assists clients throughout Toronto, York Region and the surrounding area.
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